Sachem East upset in state Class A field hockey final
CICERO, N.Y. -- Through the tears and a wave of disappointment, Katie Trombetta said simply: "We're still Sachem East field hockey."
That means a lot.
That it took the final chance in a shootout to dethrone the Flaming Arrows, that Sachem East losing is the big deal is a testament to all this program has accomplished in a short time.
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But the epic run came to an end Sunday night.
Anna Bottino scored in a shootout to lift Shenendehowa to a 3-2 win over the Arrows in the state Class A final at Cicero-North Syracuse.
The Plainsmen rallied from down 2-0 in the second half to topple the two-time defending champs, ending Sachem East's 50-game win streak, which was the sixth longest in state history.
"This is the way it had to be," Bottino said. "Sachem is awesome, and it's never easy to beat the giant."
Desteny Holder (eight saves) stopped Shenendehowa's first four shooters, then made a diving stop of Bottino's shot to her left. But the ball deflected back to the senior, who lined it into the cage from 3 yards.
Kelly McKeveny and Katie Doherty scored to give Sachem East (21-1) an early lead, but the Plainsmen controlled the action for most of the second half and eventually tied it on Erin Buckley's goal with 3:34 remaining.
Several questionable calls went against Sachem East, and there was controversy in the shootout. The Arrows disputed Melissa Nealon's stop of Taylor Giordano in the shootout -- alleging the goalie left the circle to defend Giordano -- but officials denied the protest.
"I love these kids so much," coach Tina Moon said, "and we're really hurting right now."
Understandably. But one day, soon, the big picture will become clear and the Arrows all will remember this journey, more so than its finish. "What we did was special," Doherty said. "I'll never forget the memories we made."
And Trombetta, who concluded one of the most decorated athletic careers in Long Island history, again said simply: "Look where we started. Now we've got two state championships."
Before 2011, the program hadn't even won a county title. Now, they are Sachem East field hockey.